Journal of Resources and Ecology ›› 2020, Vol. 11 ›› Issue (4): 414-424.DOI: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2020.04.010

• Water Resource Management • Previous Articles     Next Articles

System Analysis of the Historical Change of the River Leader System: Based on the Perspective of Historical Institutionalism

ZHENG Shihao1, QIN Haibo2, LI Yingming3,4, HAO Liang5, GUO Fengyuan3,6, ZHANG Conglin3,4,*()   

  1. 1. State Key Laboratory of Hydraulic Engineering Simulation and Safety, Tianjin University, Tianjin 300072, China
    2. School of Politics and Public Management, Xinjiang University, Urumqi 830046, China
    3. Institutes of Science and Development, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, China
    4. School of Public Policy and Management, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
    5. Policy Research Center for Environment and Economy, Ministry of Ecology and Environment of China, Beijing 100029, China
    6. Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of the People's Republic of China, Beijing 100804, China
  • Received:2020-01-07 Accepted:2020-03-17 Online:2020-07-30 Published:2020-09-30
  • Contact: ZHANG Conglin
  • Supported by:
    The National Natural Science Foundation of China(71503245);The Youth Fund Project of Dean of Chinese Academy of Science and Technology Strategic Consulting Institute(Y7X1101Q01)


In the process of implementing the River Leader System, some problems have emerged regarding its progress and effects. From the perspective of historical institutionalism, the historical change process of the River Leader System was revealed in this paper. There were two key nodes in the historical change progress of the River Leader System. In 2014, the river leader system promotion was transferred from the local government to the Ministry of Water Resources. In 2016, the River Leader System was recognized by the central government and implemented nationwide. The historical change process of the River Leader System can be divided into three periods: the creation and formation period, the pilot and diffusion period, and the promotion and strengthening period. The change in the river and lake problems was an important driving force for the historical change of the River Leader System. A path dependent phenomenon was mainly reflected in the policy diffusion scope, problem orientation, main tasks and management methods. At present, there are some shortcomings in the River Leader System, such as a lack of inter-provincial coordination, imperfect evaluation mechanism, poorly coordinated management tasks, and insufficient public participation. To solve these problems, some policy recommendations are put forward. In the short term, the River Leader System will be continuously improved and strengthened. In the long term, it will be transformed into the integrated watershed management system.

Key words: River Leader System, historical institutionalism, historical change, development trend